While Nashville has become the "It City" and Franklin boasts some of the best schools in the state, Murfreesboro is shining just as brightly in a less flashy way.
Murfreesboro is a city on the rise, and its mayor is a man on fire.
Mayor Shane McFarland, the youngest mayor in city history, is quick to point out that Murfreesboro is adding jobs as quickly as any city and is the No. 2 school system in the state.
"I would say we are known for our school system. We're known for looking at where our test scores are, looking at how progressive we are on building schools and making sure we stay ahead of the game," he said.
In addition, Murfreesboro has something neither Nashville or Franklin has: Middle Tennessee State University. This year, MTSU has the biggest graduating class and biggest undergraduate population.
Those are some high points, but McFarland himself is a mirror of Murfreesboro.
McFarland is a small businessman in construction and is raising a young family, and those are two big factors in Murfreesboro's growth.
"When everyone succeeds, a rising tide raises all ships," he said.
McFarland came to Murfreesboro from Grundy County in 1992. His first job was waiting tables at Demos'.
"One of my biggest role models, beside my family, Jim and Doris Demos. Miss Demos taught me customer service," he said. "I never left that, every business or industry that I've been in always has been around providing customer service."
McFarland says he decided to make a run for mayor after a moving sermon at his World Outreach Church. From that point on, he says doors began opening.
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